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1999 Integrated Pest Management Annual Report

Gypsy Moth

Gypsy moth populations have increased in northern Illinois. Although their numbers are not great enough to cause obvious damage, the increases make eradication of this pest in Illinois less likely.

Also, established infestations in western Michigan and scattered populations in southern Wisconsin may contribute to further infestations in Illinois. Vacationers may cause accidental infestations by transporting egg masses from infested areas to areas previously uninfested, and it is presumed that newly hatched larvae are blown across Lake Michigan on warm air updrafts.

Gypsy moth larva
Gypsy moth larva

Adult female gypsy moth
Adult female gypsy moth near an egg mass on a birch tree.

As a result of the increased gypsy moth populations, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, in association with the United States Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, has revised the state?s gypsy moth monitoring program. Surveillance trapping will occur annually throughout Illinois, rather than biannually. Monitoring efforts will be increased in tree corridors along south-flowing rivers, with eradication efforts concentrated on ?leading edge? and small disjunct populations of gypsy moth.

Scientists at the Illinois Natural History Survey are studying the possibility of augmentative release of some gypsy moth pathogens that are established in other states and, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, are conducting international research efforts to identify other effective microbial enemies. University of Illinois Extension specialists and educators provide current information on the spread and eradication efforts to landscape professionals and the general public through meetings, newsletters, and the mass media.

Gypsy moth pupa
Gypsy moth pupa


Lee Solter,, INHS

Phil Nixon,, NRES

Charlie Helm,, INHS

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